A £35m defender is always going to come with massive expectations, but it’s safe to say that Shkodran Mustafi has settled into the Arsenal side extremely well.
In the three appearances the German international has made for the Gunners (two Premier League, one Champions League), Mustafi has not put a foot wrong, and the statistics are there to back it up.
Indeed, the signs of a partnership developing with Laurent Koscielny have been very encouraging thus far.
One thing that has been obvious in his first few matches is how comfortable he seems on the ball, and his distribution holds up extremely well also, as the statistic below shows.
Shkodran Mustafi has completed 139 passes in the Premier League since his debut, no defender has more in that time. pic.twitter.com/HWIjNVRBQG
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 20, 2016
Mustafi has completed 139 passes since making his Premier League debut against Southampton earlier this month.
To break that down a bit further, in that game alone, he attempted 95 passes (significantly higher than than the next highest number, Santi Cazorla with 79), of which 86 were completed (90.5%).
Against Hull last weekend, Muatafi saw a bit less of the ball (mainly due to it being on the other side of the pitch most of the time), but still completed 96% of his 57 pass attempts, a completion rate second only to Francis Coquelin.
Shkodran Mustafi’s game by numbers vs. Hull:
96% pass acc.
3 tackles won
Natural fit. pic.twitter.com/A2pxx9Rh6v
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 17, 2016
In total, he has a pass completion rate of just below 93% which, though it must be stressed it is still early days, is at least 2% higher than any Arsenal defender managed last season.
For a player that was not necessarily known for his passing ability with Valencia, that is quite the leap in his own ability already.
He will face a much tougher test of his defensive abilities against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge next weekend, but considering Arsenal were in dire need of defensive reinforcement this summer, Mustafi’s arrival seems to have plugged a major hole in that starting eleven.
— Shkodran Mustafi (@MustafiOfficial) September 16, 2016